A last-minute budget deal to avert a federal government shutdown on April 8 includes approximately $38 billion in spending cuts for the current fiscal year 2011 that ends on September 30. According to an analysis by the Washington Post, more than half of the cuts, or about $19.8 billion, come from education, labor and health and human services.
Some of the cuts, measured compared to Fiscal Year 2010 funding, include:
- $2.3 billion for housing programs (see Minnesota Housing Partnership’s helpful summary of the proposed “Death by a Thousand Cuts“)
- $600 million for Community Health Care Centers
- $390 million for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- $1.6 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (a 16 percent decrease from 2010 levels), including $997 million less than 2010 for the Clean and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds
- $141 million for the Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service and a $127 million cut for the National Park Service
- $125 million for Dislocated Worker Assistance
- $415 million for State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance.
Both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are expected to vote on the package this week before leaving Washington for the spring recess.
Last weekend’s budget drama provides fresh proof that Congress (especially the U.S. House of Representatives) has embarked on an irresponsible, unbalanced and unfair approach to the budget and deficit reduction, one that disproportionately imposes deep cuts to services for low- and moderate-income Americans while extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
You have an opportunity to add your organization’s name to our sign-on letter asking our Minnesota Congressional delegation to support a responsible and balanced approach to budget and deficit reduction that protects the nation’s fragile economic recovery, takes a balanced approach to long-term budget deficits, and reduces federal deficits without increasing poverty. The deadline to join our letter is Friday, April 15 at noon.
[Note: Since we first posted this blog, the deadline to join the sign-on letter has been extended to Friday, April 29.]